In March of 1857, a group of men known as “The Nebraska Settlement Association” began a prospecting tour along the Elkhorn River. Upon arriving at what is now known as West Point, they decided to locate a town and establish industries, and the city was platted by Andrew J. Bruner.
The town was first called New Philadelphia because so many of the settlement group were from Pennsylvania. The name was soon changed to West Point because it was the most westerly point that was settled in the Elkhorn River Valley at that time.
In March of 1858, John D. Neligh arrived in West Point and brought with him a claim for the town site. Neligh has been called the “Father of West Point.”
One of the first businesses established was a sawmill. The first post office was a log cabin built in June of 1858, and the building also served as the first courthouse. The first religious service was held in 1858 when 10 Methodists met in a log house.
In 1860, the federal census was taken and showed 61 persons in the county, and by 1868 the area around West Point had grown extensively. West Point became an incorporated town in May of 1869.
The first railroad service to West Point became available in November 1870, which led to further growth of the business and industries. West Point became a city in 1872, with J. D. Neligh serving as the first mayor.
The city experienced significant growth and the census showed 1,008 citizens in West Point. The city has continued to grow and prosper, and the community celebrated its 150th birthday in 2008.